Pantry Challenge July 5-10

When I set out to write this pantry challenge update , I had the feeling that I was not doing well at all with this challenge.  After all, I’ve been to the store several times.  For sales, mostly.  Chicken breasts were on sale for $1.29/lb, and spaghetti sauce was 78 cents/can.  Plus there is the siren call of summer fruit.  I’ve bought watermelon, strawberries ($1.50/lb), and cherries($1.68/lb).  But in looking closer at my menus, I’ve definitely been choosing affordable meal options and have been using the foods that we have the most of:  pasta, applesauce, and cabbage.  So it’s not a total fail.  And I’m going to try a bit harder to truly eat from the pantry during this coming week.

July 5

  • Breakfast- pancakes, bananas, OJ
  • Lunch- hamburgers, potato chips, watermelon, brownies (left from 4th party)
  • Dinner- Fried rice with beef and veggies, cabbage slaw, applesauce

July 6

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal with raisins, orange juice
  • Lunch- leftover fried rice, applesauce
  • Dinner- Chicken enchiladas, cabbage slaw, chocolate chip cookies

July 7

  • Breakfast- Eggs, leftover pancakes, OJ
  • Lunch- Rice, cabbage slaw, black bean and tomato salsa, tortilla chips
  • Dinner- Potato Cheddar Chowder, carrot sticks, and chili cheddar cornbread

July 8

  • Breakfast- Oatmeal, toast, and apples
  • Lunch- Thai Chicken Pasta Salad and chocolate chip cookies
  • Dinner- (soccer night) leftover pasta salad and leftover potato soup

July 9

  • Breakfast- Pancakes with jam, OJ
  • Lunch- Spaghetti, carrot sticks and applesauce
  • Dinner- Pepperoni pizza and cabbage salad

July 10

  • Breakfast- Cereal and milk
  • Lunch- McDonald’s (grandpa’s treat)
  • Dinner- Rice, Sriracha BBQ Chicken, kimchi, egg rolls, ice cream and strawberries



  1. Leftover pancakes, wow–I can never make enough to have leftovers.
    Kimchi is one of my favorite side dishes though kids not so much and even my daughter-in-law from Philippines hates it. Found a package at a Korean store to make my own because the cost of it already made is so expensive.
    Not to discount your chicken enchilada (if in your cookbook) but the recipe that is in The Pioneer Woman Cooks is really tasty. The girls had so much fun making this one. We didn’t even try to keep the tortillas closed, just made enchilada casserole which lasted a couple days.
    Another grocery hint: instead of buying all the weird and expensive types of macaroni and pastas, just tear up spaghetti noodles for everything from mac and cheese to pasta salads. MUCH CHEAPER and kids love it.

  2. oh my goodness, chicken breasts for $1.29 / lb??!! we pay (Au) $10 / kg here, it’s rare to get them for much less! occasionally $8/kg maybe but not often….

    • Wow, that is crazy. Well,mine were bone-in, skin-on, but yeah, that’s a pretty decent price here too.

    • Wow, that is crazy. Well, mine were bone-in, skin-on, but yeah, that’s a pretty decent price here too.

      • I got boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.29/lb … you bet I bought about 7 to 8 lbs I think. Should have bought more (can still go back today if I really want, but it’s a little drive at this time of night!)

  3. christy says:

    I think that we will be trying this for dinner tonight. I didn’t have all the veggies you called for but when i went back and looked at the original one I realized that you just adapted to what was on hand. Yeah for that and being frugal!

    Can’t wait to try it.

  4. I want to thank you for this inspiring entry. I’ve been working VERY hard on my grocery spending and read your book as part of my efforts, too. This pantry challenge has been fun for me! Some of our meals have been a little “creative,” but that is ok. It’s kept me from the grocery store THAT much longer 🙂 I extended my own challenge to encompass my freezer as well. It’s almost empty now! All I have left are 2 bagelfuls, 1 small pizza, and some almost-empty bags of frozen fruit and veggies. The fridge is almost bare as well. The pantry could still go a bit longer, maybe a half a week. Especially if I make some soup. Thanks again for this terrific idea!